Wednesday, August 11, 2010

the joy of their love

I knew I was in trouble when I began to cry, reading the letter from the Governor General.

My parents celebrated their 65th anniversary today. Paper bells and streamers festooned the living room. Gladioli stood in stately splendor beside a black and white photo of my father in his army uniform, my mother all in lace, their arms linked, their faces bright with joy.

We had planned a simple celebration. We would begin by reading congratulations from the Queen, and work our way down through the ranks, to our local MLA. I hadn't opened the large, important looking envelopes until that afternoon. I expected to quickly read the formal greetings as a way of bestowing the appropriate respect and honor due such longevity in married life. I hadn't counted on the power of words.
Official letters, from strangers, spoke as from my heart. Admiration, respect, hope. And my heart broke in recognition of their frailty and the knowledge that such times of celebration will come to an end. Grief doesn't know its place. It arrives before its due. They still link arms, and their faces still brighten with the joy of their love. That is what we celebrate with them today. The rest can wait.


Sandpiper said...

65 years! That's so great! A true living testimony of love.

once upon a time . . . said...

a simple celebration . . . congratulations from the queen ;o)